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“A Calorie is NOT a Calorie: Why Processed Food Burns LESS Calories”
(Response To Thomas DeLauer)
In today’s video I’m giving a review of a recent Thomas DeLauer video where he supposedly “debunks” calories in vs. calories out and also proves that “a calorie is not a calorie”.
In typical Thomas DeLauer fashion, he cherry picks a modest finding from a given study, misrepresents the data and then draws an erroneous conclusion that doesn’t apply in the real world when it comes to fat loss nutrition.
This particular Thomas DeLauer weight loss video looks at a nutrition study that compares a whole food meal vs. a processed meal (in the form of cheese sandwiches) to measure the thermogenic response, or number of calories burned as heat energy.
The whole food meal ends up having a 19.9% thermic effect of food, while the processed meal clocks in at 10.7%.
Thomas DeLauer then uses this data to suggest that by switching from processed foods to whole foods, you can burn up to 200 additional calories daily and lose up to 20 extra pounds of fat per year, and that this provides evidence against the model of calories in vs. calorie out.
The first problem is that this fat loss study only looked at one single meal in isolation – bread and cheese. We can’t just assume that these figures apply to ALL whole foods and all processed foods, and even the researchers in the study acknowledge this.
Secondly, the extra 200 calorie burn would only apply when comparing a person with a 100% whole food diet versus someone with a 100% processed food. This isn’t practical in the real world since nearly everyone consume some combination of both as part of their weight loss diet.
Lastly, even if this Thomas DeLauer fat loss video WAS correct on all points, it still does not disprove calories in versus calories out. This is because thermogenesis is factored into a person’s energy expenditure. It’s part of the “calories out” portion of the CICO model. If anything, this study provides SUPPORT for calories in vs. calories out as the primary gauge for fat burning success.
As a final note, the notion that “a calorie is not a calorie” or that “all calories are not created equal” is also incorrect. A calorie is a fixed unit of measurement to assess the amount of energy contained in foods and body tissues. Therefore, all calories are the exact same. What differs is the food composition (in terms of micronutrients, fiber etc.) which does affect how it acts in the body, but not the calories themselves.
For more information and practical fat loss nutrition guidelines, as well my views on Thomas DeLauer’s nutrition content in general, make sure to watch the full video above.
Additional tags: thomas delauer intermittent fasting, thomas delauer keto, thomas delauer calories, thomas delauer protein
Postprandial energy expenditure in whole-food and processed-food meals: implications for daily energy expenditure: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897733/